A Family Affair

Picture - Chris Carter in "A Family Affair"

Picture of Chris Carter in CBS's "A Family Affair." Goldin (Marion) Papers, e_goldi_00036, Briscoe Center for American History.

Marion Goldin’s production team followed James Earl “Chip” Carter through a grueling schedule as he campaigned for his father through Kansas, Nebraska, and both Dakotas. In a departure from traditional campaigns, the candidates in the 1976 election were not shy about using their families. Questions to one of the three sons of presidential candidate Jimmy Carter ranged from religion, music, sex, and drugs, to Chip’s own political ambitions, his relationship with his father, and his reaction to the latter’s interview with Playboy. As the New York Times editorialized, the interview with the soft-porn magazine and the extensive use of the candidates’ families for political campaigning signaled the beginning of the erosion of "the legitimate boundaries of [politicians'] private lives and intimate feelings"—a process 60 Minutes participated in with its focus on personal questions rather than political issues.